canning green beans

Asked August 27, 2013, 4:39 PM EDT

I tried to can green beans in a pressure cooker and the pressure wouldn't build in the pressure cooker. Long story short, I tried to can the jars again, but had the same problem but I could hear a lid pop like it had sealed while it was cooking so I just let the jars steam for 25 minutes. When I opened the canner and removed the jars, 5 out of the 7 jars were sealed. It was late at night so I didn't want to stay up for another hour or so to let the jars cool before I put them in the refrigerator so I left them on the counter. My questions are can I safely use the sealed jars and are the unsealed jars ok to use since they sat out all night before they were refrigerated?

Clackamas County Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

OSU Extension Service and USDA note that you have up to 24 hours to safely reprocess or handle food from jars that have not sealed or were not fully processed.

If the contents of the jars were not fully processed, pathogens including botulism can grow. You should break the seals on the jars that did seal and then they can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for longer storage. The unselaed jars can also be handled this way.
You could re-process them if you have access to a pressure canner that is working. Place new lids on the jars before re-processing for the full length of time. Green beans should be processed at 10 pounds pressure (weighted gauge) or 11 pounds pressure (dial gauge) for 20 minutes pints/25 minutes quarts at elevations between sea level and 1000 feet. If this is more than 24 hours after processing, the contents of the jars could be unsafe and should be discarded without tasting. Remember our Food Preservation and Safety Hotline is available 9am -4pm, M, T and Th, F. I hope this helps!Jeanne